City linked with Crewe teenagers Powell and Clayton

Two highly rated Crewe youngsters who have played for the England U-17 side are being linked with City according to Nick Powell and Max Clayton are both 16, though only Powell has featured for the Crewe first team thus far.

Naturally the players have been watched by several premier league clubs and Liverpool were believed to be the club reported by Crewe for making an illegal approach for Clayton. The article claims City are “close to tabling a combined bid of over £5,000,000”. We’ll believe that when we see it!

However, having missed out on Raheem Sterling to Liverpool last season, City may be a little more determined this time around. It also fits in with the long term aim of bringing young players through the Academy and into the first team.

With the Financial Fair Play rules preventing City from going out and repeating our recent spending, the focus is likely to change to attracting top quality youngsters.

Brian Marwood:

“We talk about elite development, the academy, because that is the foundation. That is the future for Manchester City.”

Chelsea are the prime example we’re following, as described here by Gary Worthington – a leading scout who joined us from the London club.

An excellent article on the Swiss Ramble blog looks at how City might try and conform to Financial Fair Play. It’s clear that attracting the best young players is going to be crucial, and it’s an area where clubs can be freely allowed to invest.

This will be vital as City are far from the only club looking for a sustainable future based on youth. Many try, and end up having to dip back into the transfer market when the youngsters don’t come up to scratch. City’s Academy may well have to take on a greater international aspect to succeed and we’re fortunate to have the funds available to do so.

Signing up promising England youth, such as Powell and Clayton, is sure to be part of the long term plan.

Nick Powell scoring for the England U-17 team (1 min 54 secs into video):

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